Duke’s Austin Gabay runs blazing 8,000 and leads huge South Jersey contingent at Paul Short Invitational!!!!!!!

Austin Gabay ran a huge 8,000 PR Friday and was Duke’s fifth finisher at the Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh.

Gabay, a Cinnaminson graduate and a sophomore at Duke, led a large contingent of South Jersey runners, covering the historic 8,000-meter XC course at Lehigh’s Goodman Campus in 23:44.

He placed 62nd overall in the men’s Gold race. Overall, his time was 62nd-fastest of nearly 1,200 runners in the four races.

Gabay’s previous-best 8,000-meter time was a 24:10 at the 2020 ACC Championships in Cary, N.C. That was actually his last 8,000 XC race before Friday at Lehigh.

Although Gabay was Duke’s 5th finisher, he crossed the line only 24 seconds behind Duke’s 1st finisher, Matyas Csiki-Fejer, who was 16th in 23:20. He finished only 42 seconds behind overall winner Parker Wolfe of North Carolina. The first 100 runners finished within a 57 seconds of each other.

Duke placed 5th with 157 points, behind only UNC [64], Villanova [100], Utah State [105] and Georgetown [138]. Duke is ranked No. 8 in NCAA Division 1 Southeast Region.

Cherokee grad Jack Shea was St. Joe’s top finisher with a lifetime-best 24:18 in his second race as a Hawk. His previous all-course 8K PR was a 24:36 back in September of 2018 as a freshman at Northern Arizona at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational in Verona, Wisc. Shea graduated from NAU in the spring and is now a grad student at St. Joe’s. He ran 13:44.57 on the track last spring at Stanford.

Three seconds behind Shea was Bishop Eustace grad Connor Melko, a senior at Lehigh. Melko ran 24:21 on his home course and was the Engineers’ top finisher. That’s also a big 8,000 PR for Melko, whose previous fastest 8K was a 25:24 on Lafayette’s Metzger Field course last September.

Also under 25 minutes was Cornell sophomore Brady Shute from Woodbury, who ran 24:36. His fastest previous 8,000 was a 24:50 at Lock Haven last weekend.

Yale’s Martin Riddell, a sophomore from Haddonfield, ran 24:41, more than a minute and a half faster than he ran on the same course last year. Riddell ran 26:24 at Paul Short last year and that was his fastest previous 8,000.

Matthew Coffey, a St. Joe’s senior from Camden Catholic, ran 24:46, his first time under 25 minutes for an 8,000. His previous personal-best was a 25:31 at last year’s Paul Short. His teammate, sopohmore Colton Johnson from Paul VI, was four seconds back. It appears to be his first collegiate 8,000. Another St. Joe’s runner from South Jersey, Eastern’s Aidan Groff, also dipped under 25 with a 24:52. That’s an 8,000 PR by more than a minute. He ran 25:55 at Paul Short last year.

The winding, twisting course in Bethlehem (with a brief forway into Hellertown) was used for the 1979, 1983 and 1993 NCAA Division 1 Championships.

Nearly 150 schools from around the country raced Friday at Lehigh at the 48th annual running of the Paul Short Invite.

Egg Harbor girls average 20:15 in PR-loaded performance at Stockton Invitational!!!!!!

With four girls in the top 20, the Egg Harbor girls placed second in the Stockton Invitational Friday, just one point behind Toms River North.

Egg Harbor, ranked 13th in the state, fell 71-72 to No. 10 Toms River North but finished 15 points ahead of No. 19 Southern Regional in a meeting of three top-20 programs.

EHT’s top 5 averaged 20:15 on the 5,000-meter course on Stockton University’s campus in Galloway Township.

It was certainly a promising performance for EHT, which was led by junior Michaela Schlemo, who ran an all-course 5,000 PR of 18:46 for 3rd place. Her previous 5,000 best was 18:53 at last year’s Cape Atlantic Championships on the same course in Galloway Township.

Senior Lindsay Taylor [9th in 19:49], junior Taylor Rooney [16th in 20:34] and sophomore Bithania Andemariam [19th in 20:41] also finished in the top 20, and freshman Page Pacquing – in her first varsity 5,000 ever – was EHT’s 5th finisher in 34th in 21:27.

All five EHT runners ran an all-course 5,000 PR. Andemariam’s previous 5K PR was a 23:27 from last year’s CAL meet, so she PR’d by nearly three minutes in her first 5,000 of the fall.

Rooney has run track previously but this is her first season of cross country, so two of EHT’s top five had never run a varsity 5,000 before.

Mainland sophomore Sofia Day placed 2nd overall in 18:23, behind only T.R. North freshman Jessica Abbott, who won the race in 18:03.

Also in the top 10 were Wildwood sophomore Macie McCracken [4th in 18:49], Mainland junior Gillian Lovett [5th in 19:08], Atlantic City senior Madeline Dischert [6th in 19:19], Paul VI senior Shaelan McNally [7th in 19:33] and Camden Catholic sophomore Nilaa Ponnappan [10th in 19:52].

With 5 in the top 10, top-ranked Haddonfield girls roar to Bowdoin Classic team title!!!!!!

The Haddonfield girls packed their five scorers in 41 seconds and romped to the team title in the Varsity 1 race at the Bowdoin Park XC Classic Saturday at Wappingers Falls, N.Y.

Haddonfield, ranked No. 1 in New Jersey, went 3-6-7-8-9, scoring 33 points and finishing 44 points ahead of 2nd-place Corning (N.Y.) , which scored 77 and got second on a 6th-runner tiebreaker over New Milford.

Senior Helene Usher was Haddonfield’s top runner, taking 3rd in 19:39. Junior Ava Thomas, junior Riley Slootsky, freshman Riley Austin and junior Audrey Naticchia then swept 6th through 9th place, with Thomas breaking 20 minutes in 19:57 and Slootsky, Austin and Naticchia running between 20:12 and 20:20 over the challenging 5,000-meter course along the Hudson River 70 miles north of New York City.

It was the first championship race for Austin, who had run two batch races previously.

Union Catholic, ranked No. 2 in New Jersey, won the Varsity 2 race 21-96 over Bronxville.

Kevin O’Donnell, Nick Costello both finish in top-20 in Philadelphia Distance Run!!!!!

Moorestown native and Camden Catholic graduate Kevin McDonnell placed 16th out of nearly 1,400 runners in the Philadelphia Distance Run Sunday with a personal-best 1:07.26.

He broke his half-marathon PR of 1:07.54 set at the Mortgage Network Half-Marathon in Hardeeville, S.C., in December.

McDonnell is planning to run the CNO Financial Group Marathon in Indianapolis, a flat, fast marathon scheduled for Nov. 5.

The 32-year-old McDonnell, who ran for St. Joe’s and now lives in Cherry Hill, finished 28 seconds ahead of 27-year-old Nick Costello, a former Delsea and Colorado State runner.

Costello, who now lives in Laramie, Wy., and is assistant track coach at the University of Wyoming, ran 1:06.54 and placed 19th overall.

The top South Jersey finisher in the women’s race was Washington Township and Cornell graduate Dina Iacone, who ran 1:30.39 and placed 55th out of nearly 1,300 entrants in the women’s race. Iacone ran 16:56.15 for Cornell at Boston University in March, 2013.

Edinboro’s Kylie Anicic from Kingsway makes it 2 wins in 2 races at Robert Morris Invite!!!!!!

Kylie Anicic made it two wins in two races Friday when she was first across the line at the Robert Morris Colonial XC Invitational outside Pittsburgh.

Anicic, a Kingsway graduate and Edinboro (Pa.) junior, ran 22:37 over the odd distance of 6,212 meters at the Youthtowne complex in Findlay Township, Allegheny County, Pa. That’s 18:12 pace for 5,000 meters with an extra three-quarters of a mile added on at the same pace.

Anicic won by 125 meters over junior teammate Kimberly Goerss, who was second in 23:04.

In her first XC race in three years, Anicic won the Doug Watts Open in Edinboro two weeks ago, and Goerss was 3rd in that race.

Seton Hill of Greensburg, Pa., won the team title 44-52 over Edinboro, with Carnegie Mellon third with 58 points.

Edinboro is ranked No. 1 in the most recent USTFCCCA NCAA Division 2 Atlantic Region rankings, and Seton Hill is No. 4.

Cherokee’s Patrick Ditmars, Nick Kuenkel win class races at Battle of Ocean County Park!!!!!

Cherokee senior Patrick Ditmars and junior Nick Kuenkel ran two of the three-fastest times Friday at the Battle at Ocean County Park in Lakewood.

Ditmars ran the fastest time of the day, covering the 5,000-meter course in 15:19, and winning the senior class race by one second over Elizabeth’s Lucas Reguinho, a 9:10 two-miler last spring.

Kuenkel ran 15:29 and won the junior race by nearly half a minute over Maan Patel of Monroe Township, who was second in 15:55. Robert Poplau was 6th in the junior race in 16:23.

Liam Tindall ran 16:42 and placed 4th in the sophomore race, and Anthony DiBatista took 10th in 17:14.

In the freshman race, run over 3,200 meters, Cherokee’s Logan Bromley placed 6th in 11:51.

In MileSplit’s merge, Cherokee scored 111 points, behind only Ridge, which scored 57. Cherry Hill East was 7th of 69 schools, and Shawnee 10th.

Shawnee’s Eli Mackey ran 9th in the junior race in 16:30

Rider’s Gobi Thurairajah takes 5th in Jasper Invite, Stone Caraccio and Seb Reed help Monmouth win team title!!!!!

Gobi Thurairajah, a Rider junior from Egg Harbor Township High School, continued his outstanding start to the 2022 XC season with a 4th-place finish in the Jasper Invitational Saturday.

Thurairajah placed 5th out of 114 runners, covering the 8,000-meter Twin Ponds on the Farm course in Montgomery, N.Y., in 25:31.

Thurairajah set an 8,000 all-course PR, breaking his former best time of 25:47 from last week in a meet in Latham, N.Y. His 8,000 PR coming into this season was 26:17 from last year’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships in Orlando, Fla.

Monmouth, ranked 12th in the NCAA Division 1 Mid-Atlantic Region by the USTFCCCA, won the team title 31-50 over Rider, with Fordham 3rd with 59 points with sophomores Stone Caraccio of Kingsway and Sebastien Reed of Pitman placing 9th and 10th overall, both in 25:49.

Delsea’s Lillie Widmer runs 2-minute 5K PR to win S.J. Shootout, Clearview takes team title!!!!!

Delsea senior Lillie Widmer was the overall winner with one of the fastest times ever at DREAM Park, and Clearview packed its five scorers in the top seven overall Saturday in the championship race at the South Jersey Shootout in Logan Township.

Widmer covered the 5,000-meter course in 18:34, 11th-fastest in the five years since the DREAM Park course was first used. Abigail Waddington of Clearview also dipped under 19 minutes with an 18:49 for 2nd place.

That 18:34 is a nearly two-minute all-course PR over 5,000 meters for Widmer, whose previous fastest 5K according to her MileSplit database was a 20:32 in a batch meet last September at Cumberland Regional.

Clearview, ranked No. 7 in the state, went 2-3-5-6-7, but for team scoring purposes finished 1-2-4-5-6 for 18 points, topping 2nd-place Moorestown 18-58.

Also scoring for Clearview were senior Abigail Kotran [3rd in 19:08], junior Margaret Wisniewski [5th in 19:54], junior Allison Roes [6th in 19:56] and senior Aubrey Donahue [7th in 20:08].

Highland senior Grace Wassell broke up the Clearview pack in 4th place in 19:19.

Also in the top 10 were Williamstown senior Alexa Fisher [8th in 20:19], Sterling junior Cara Coppolino [9th in 20:50] and Haddon Township junior Ella Sherwin [10th in 20:58].

Moorestown didn’t have a finisher in the top 10 but packed all seven runners between 11th and 27th (and between 8th and 17th in team, scoring), with junior Julia Brock leading the way in 11th overall in 21:06.

Egg Harbor’s Isabella Leak places 4th at Jasper Invite to help Monmouth win team title!!!!!

Isabella Leak turned in her second straight top-10 performance for Monmouth Saturday, placing 4th of 87 runners at the Jasper Fall Invitational.

Leak ran 22:23 over the 6,000-meter course at Twin Ponds at the Farm in Montgomery, Orange County, N.Y. That’s 18:39 5,000 pace for another 1,000 meters.

Leak, a sophomore from Egg Harbor Township, ran 4:41.70 for 1,500 meters as a freshman last spring. Her 22:23 is an all-course 6,000 PR, 20 seconds faster than she ran at Paul Short at Lehigh last fall.

Monmouth finished first in the eight-team race with 25 points, going 3-4-5-6-7 and packing its five scorers in 16 seconds. Leak was Monmouth’s No. 2 runner, finishing four seconds behind sophomore Marisa Kilgarrif from Council Rock South in Richboro, Pa.

Monmouth was ranked 12th in the initial NCAA Division 1 Mid-Atlantic Region rankings.

R.V.s Ryan Smith runs away with race, Washington Twp. wins team title at Ray Hoagland Invite!!!!!

Rancocas Valley senior Ryan Smith finished 225 meters ahead of the field Saturday at the Ray Hoagland Invitational.

Hoagland covered the 5,000-meter course at the Rancocas Valley Sports Complex in Eastampton Township in 16:35.

That’s 57 seconds faster than he ran on the same course to open his junior year. Smith went on to place 8th at the Group 4 sectionals at Delsea.

Smith’s time is fastest ever on the R.V. course by a Rancocas Valley runner. Andre Faigal ran 16:43 last fall when he placed 3rd at the County Open.

Oliver Adler set the course record of 16:13 at the 2018 Ray Hoagland Invite.

Washington Township teammates Hunter Bostwick, a sophomore, and Aaron Kolosowsky, a junior, finished in a virtual tie at 17:19, with Bostwick officially credited with 2nd place.

Eastern junior Owen Karsch [4th in 17:21] and R.V. senior Dylan Selby [5th in 17:41] also ran sub-18.

Washington Township edged Rancocas Valley 68-81 for the team title, with Camden Catholic just behind with 83 points and Eastern 4th with 98.

Joining Bostwick and Kolosowsky in the Minutemen’s scoring group were junior Wade Olivio [13th], junior Adrian Gonzalez [21st] and sophomore Jason Reinherz [32nd].